4/15/15

Pledge KMUW . . .

At least once every six months, I openly, publicly renew my obsession with and undying love for KMUW.

If you're new to this blog, have been hit on the head by a large, heavy, blunt object, or any other reason prevents you from knowing what KMUW means to me - let me be clear.

It is a lifeline-ish. If your zip code doesn't start with 672--, you may not know this but Kansas is a really "traditional" place. It is a state of hard work, mind-your-own-business approaches, and no premium is put on art or culture. We don't openly debate things and we believe in the status quo. This is not criticism - it is observation. To clarify . . . we are decidedly NOT "simple" but we (unlike every other place I've ever lived) don't often give in to the fluffy parts of life that fill the heart and head with happiness.

But KMUW . . . KMUW has all the happiness and all the triggers. I - cliche aside - start and end my day with KMUW. Morning Edition anchor Kate Clause('s voice) has spent more time with the naked version of me than any other woman I've ever known. My daughter's favorite bath time partner (before recently transitioning to ten minute showers) was Jedd Beaudoin's "Strange Currency". I listen to so much of "my" public radio that local anchor and film critic Fletcher Powell sounds like (equally) world-renowned Ari Shapiro and reporter and music host Carla Eckels sounds 9,000 times happier to be in Wichita than Elanor Beardsley sounds from the City of Friggin' Lights (Paris - for those who don't like the pet names for world capitals) and these things make me happy.

I used to think that the syndicated programs ("Morning Edition", "All Things Considered", "Marketplace" and "Fresh Air" Mo - Fr and "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.", "The Splendid Table", "Ask Me Another" (a new obsession, for me) and my favorite brought-in show on KMUW, "Snap Judgement" on the weekends) were the best part but, honestly - no more.

The more I think about it, the NEWS and COMMENTARY and occasional longer-format special program are second-to-none and why I love the station.

The crazy bastards in charge at KMUW gives precious "morning drive time" (a premium for commercial radio stations to sell to muffler shops and dog groomers) to the origins and roots of WORDS (Lael Ewy's "OnWords"), and my friend Zack Gingrich-Gaylord recently wrapped up a series on graffiti (a distinctly VISUAL art form that he made work by sound alone) and, with The New American Songbook, has started a series on something decidedly audible - hip hop. Yes. HIP. HOP.

Restaurant reviews, TWO movie reviewers, book reviews, art reviews, theater reviews, and the hilarious, unhinged (I fear (smile)) Richard Crowson talking all-things absurd about living in the Sunflower State are all things you can find the station giving time to throughout the day - all done by local people.

As for news . . . since Aileen LeBlanc (with her wonderful saddle shoes and scarves) arrived here the quality of the news has gone through the proverbial roof. We now REGULARLY hear Aileen, Carla Eckels and Sean Sandefur on the NATIONAL (not just local) newscasts for NPR and Abigail Wilson and Deborah Shaar are doing wonderful work too and coverage of Topeka happenings round out the mix of what makes the news department at KMUW far better than any other media outlet in town (in my never-humble opinion).

Long story long - KMUW is great. AND you should listen to it and you should contribute to it. NOW IS THE TIME!

Now - some sad news - I'm NOT doing my typical mini "drive" (I have done Seandraising and/or Donasean each drive for three years now and - while they have been successful - the last round was not great and I am going to take a drive off) BUT I am going to harass people I know and love (and who I know love KMUW) to give and give generously this drive. You can wait for me to come to you or you can go to them.

Please, dear readers, are going to get the first dose of that. Here! Click on this link. Look at ALL the goodies and embrace the strategy of monthly, on-going giving and do what you can (consider $20/month is less than a dollar a day . . . less than a daily soda or coffee QuikTrip and WAY less than Starbucks).

Help KMUW. Help you. Help Kansas embrace its happy, touchy feelies.